Some say…


“We are not saved when we are baptized in water; we are saved when we are baptized in the Holy Spirit.”



First of all, the “baptism of the Holy Spirit” was never commanded; It was promised ---and could not be administered by men, only by Jesus. Why would Christ give a command that men could not carry out? Why would God tell us to do something that only He could do and that was impossible for men to obey? The baptism of the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20) was in water.  If it wasn’t, how could Jesus command us to go baptize people “in the Holy Spirit”? That is something only God can do! If the baptism we are commanded to carry out is “spirit baptism” then it is a command impossible to obey. If, however, the baptism we are commanded to carry out is in water, then that is something we are able to obey! The phenomenon of the “baptism of the Holy Spirit” occurred twice in Scripture (Acts 2 and Acts 10). It never happened again in this outward, visible manner (which is what the “baptism of the Holy Spirit” was). This miraculous, outward sign was to verify and confirm the predicted coming of the Holy Spirit—which meant God’s eternal kingdom had now begun to establish itself on earth.


Again, in the New Testament, “baptism of the Holy Spirit” was never commanded upon anyone, only water baptism was


The “baptism of the Holy Spirit” as referred to by John the Baptist in Matthew 3:11; Mark 1:8; Luke 3:16 is a separate and different occurrence than water baptism. It was an outward sign to confirm God’s Word and Christ’s prophecy of the coming of the kingdom—the start of Christ’s church, which happened at Pentecost over 2000 years ago.


But Ephesians 4:4-5 teaches there is only ONE baptism. 


Which baptism can this be then? What is this ONE baptism?


It is the baptism of Christ spoken of by Peter starting on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2:38 and continuing throughout the rest of the New Testament. It is the baptism that the Ethiopian eunuch underwent. It is the baptism that Paul underwent to have his sins washed away. New Testament baptism consists of two parts: water and Spirit, as the Lord spoke of to Nicodemus in John 3:3-5.  Jesus said that the truth is that we must be born of the water and the Spirit in order to enter the Kingdom of God. In other words, we must be baptized to be saved. That is what the Lord Himself said.


“What was John talking about then when he talked about Christ, who would baptize with the Holy Spirit and with fire? Doesn’t this happen today at conversion? Isn’t that what he meant?”


What John the Baptist was referring to was the coming of the kingdom of heaven—the start of the New Testament church. From what John said, we know it was Christ who was at work on that day 2000 years ago at Pentecost. Christ spoke of this and it was fulfilled at Pentecost in Acts Chapter 2. There will also be a final and last “baptism of fire”—in the lake of fire—hell!




The “gift of the Holy Spirit” that Peter spoke of in Acts 2:38 did not have an outward appearance as did the “tongues of fire” that had just come to rest on each of the Apostles shortly beforehand. The “tongues of fire” that came on the Apostles was the “baptism of the Holy Spirit”.  The “gift of the Holy Spirit” promised to those that repent and are baptized was never an outward, visible phenomenon. The “gift of the Holy Spirit” is invisible to the human eye. The “baptism of the Holy Spirit” was visible. It does not occur today. The invisible “gift of the Holy Spirit” is received when we are baptized.


Those that teach that the “baptism of the Holy Spirit” happens today, teach a different “baptism of the Holy Spirit” than the “baptism of the Holy Spirit” recorded in Scripture. Those that teach today a “baptism of the Holy Spirit” teach an invisible one, but the “baptism of the Holy Spirit” in Scripture was VISIBLE!


Those that teach that people are “baptized in the Holy Spirit” today must be asked a question: “How do you know? Did you see it?” And if one cannot see it, it is not “baptism of the Holy Spirit.”


In both instances of the “baptism of the Holy Spirit’ (Acts 2 {the Jews} and Acts 10-11:18 {the Gentiles}) baptism in WATER was practiced. This is undeniable. In both cases, it was Peter who preached. And if the Apostle Peter taught, and even commanded, with the presence of the VISIBLE Holy Spirit, that baptism in water was required, then why on earth are there people today who teach baptism in water is not required?!


What we receive today is the invisible gift of the Holy Spirit (by faith)—which occurs at baptism in water. If we have believed in Jesus and repented, we can confirm, or verify God’s promise of His Spirit (and the forgiveness of our sins) by the water in which we are baptized. We cannot see someone receive the Spirit when they are baptized.  This is invisible to humans. But God tells us in His Word what goes on in the heavenly realms and in the mind of God when someone is baptized—we receive the forgiveness of our sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit. These are things we, being human, cannot see. The only thing we can see is the person going down under the water and rising back up again. Baptism, forgiveness of sins and the receipt of the Holy Spirit are simultaneous events. And the Scripture says it is impossible for God to lie--


And the Word of God tells us: "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children and to all that are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to him." And he testified with many other words and exhorted them, saying, "Save yourselves from this crooked generation." So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls


See also:




*Questions about 1Corinthians 12:13?


Click here for

A closer examination of

“Speaking in tongues” and “Baptism of the Holy Spirit”



Click here for an in-depth study on  The coming of the kingdom and the baptism of the Holy Spirit







This page last updated: Aug 11, 2008